Property Madeira - Portugal
Madeira is a mountainous island with lush tropical vegetation, an abundance of flowers, flowering shrubs and trees, a stunning coastline and breathtaking scenery - a perfect place to be at any time of year. Daytime temperatures are very mild, 25ºC in the summer and 19ºC in the winter, with a moderate level of humidity. The seawater temperature is also very mild, averaging 22ºC in summer and 18º in winter.
Madeira lies between latitude 32º and 33º with its longitude between 16º and 17ºW. The island is 55km from east to west, 20km from north to south and has a surface area of 741km2. Situated 800km from the African coast, it is 1 hour 30 minute flight time from Lisbon and 3 hours 30 minute flight time from the UK. The archipelago is made up of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and the uninhabited islands of Selvagens and Desertas.
Discovered in 1418, Madeira has been owned by Portugal for five centuries and the British have been residents for three. Water channels (levadas) and paths criss-cross the island and there is a massive underwater mountain range, towering well over 1,700 metres above sea level. Strong rivers flowing off the mountain tops have carved out ravine-like valleys, such as the dramatic Curral das Freiras (Nuns' valley). Cabo Girão, to the west of Funchal, is the second highest sea cliff in the world, with a plunge of 589m to the breakers below.
Most of the population of around 260,000 people live on the south side of Madeira, about 95,000 of them in the main town of Funchal. Portuguese is the native tongue but English is widely spoken.
A mere 40 km north east of Madeira, two and a half hours by boat or just 15 minutes by plane, lies the austerely beautiful island of Porto Santo. Drier and flatter than Madeira, it measures 12km by 7km and has about 5,500 inhabitants, most of whom live in the tiny port of Vila Baleira. With its tempting warm waters and eight kilometres of golden therapeutic sands you will find it one of the most relaxing places to be.
The cost of living in Madeira and Porto Santo is about 75% of that in the UK.